Restore Integrity and Trust in DA’s Office
The current District Attorney has undermined the integrity of the Bronx District Attorney’s office with cronyism, by taking money from the people she is charged with investigating, failing to prosecute serious crimes, and abusing her staff. While it will take time, Tess is committed to turning the office around and restoring trust among both those working within it and those in the community it serves.
To do that, Tess will:
Increase training of staff. Staff will receive extensive training to ensure they have the knowledge they need to successfully investigate and prosecute serious crimes, support victims, and make ethical and fair choices. They will receive training from Bronx community members and those directly impacted by the criminal legal system to ensure they understand the impact of their power and decisions.
Improve the office’s investigation and discovery practices. Cases have been dismissed by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office due to an inability to comply with discovery laws. Tess’s experience in complex investigations and prosecutions will aid her in establishing training and policies to improve the office’s practices and ensure cases are not dismissed due to lack of compliance with the law.
Improve office morale. The Bronx has the lowest rate of retention of any of the New York City District Attorney offices, yet the current Bronx District Attorney is using the NYPD to investigate her own staff rather than giving prosecutors the support they need to thrive in their jobs. Cronyism has infected the hiring and promoting process and a misplaced focus on low-level crimes has increased caseloads and taken attention away from violent crimes, like homicides and sexual assaults. Tess will ensure prosecutors have the resources and time they need to focus on the crimes that truly matter to people in the Bronx.